In honor of today being Disney’s Alice in Wonderland release date (July 28, 1951), I wanted to pay a little tribute to the movie and the curious little girl who inspires me as I go through my young adult life.
I’m a girl in her early twenties–I’m scared out of my mind quite more often than not. I don’t know what’s in store for my life; I can work hard and try a lot of different things, but success is never guaranteed. That’s scary.
I often feel like Alice–she tumbles down a rabbit hole, pursuing the flighty white rabbit (a metaphor for dreams? Goals? Aspirations perhaps?), and ends up in a very strange, wondrous place. Everything is backwards from what she is used to, and the inhabitants often make no sense at all. She encounters dodo birds, disappearing cats, a little mouse that seems to be drunk more often than not, and a really mean, scary lady who’s determined to decapitate the entire population.
It’s a mad house.
Sometimes I imagine the “adult” world is a version of Wonderland–there will be people who don’t give a darn about you and your pursuits, you’ll hear talk and jargon that you’ll barely understand, and there’ll be people who are after your head, your success.
You’ll just want “everything to make sense for a change.”
I also think Wonderland (aka “Adultland”) will also be wonderful and exciting. Alice found a world full of color and vivacity: talking flowers, mazes of bright green, and tasty treats that made her height fluctuate. I think there could be wonderful things waiting for me (and you) in Adultland. Things that don’t make any sense can be exciting and wonderful.
Alice has also sparked a certain curiosity within my nature. I love taking a cue from this little adventurer–I’m always wanting to learn and soak up many different subjects, cultures, books. You name it. Being curious keeps the soul young. Wanting to learn and experience new things is a really good thing. Alice couldn’t settle for ordinary. Of course, once she discovered that the unordinary could be a little scary and chaotic, the ordinary was waiting for her to return, there for her to recover from the stimulation of Wonderland. That’s how home is to me. Once I’ve had my fill of adventure, I can always return home to recharge, to regroup. Home is always there, Just as Dinah (that little cat Alice is so fond of) will always be there for little Alice.
Alice in Wonderland can really serve as a fitting metaphor for a wandering twenty-something. I think it’s the anticipation of the journey to Wonderland (Adultland) that’s the hardest. You want to know what it’s like; your curiosity overflows to the brim. I feel like Alice as she lays in the meadow filled with flowers, singing of the day where she’ll have a “world of her own.”
Until then, I’ll be content up in my tree, petting my Dinah, and listening to my sister read from a book (not really. This is what Alice did, of course). I’ll realize how wonderful it is to be content and comfortable, and gear up for my own journey to Wonderland.
Happy birthday, Alice in Wonderland. You’ve kept audiences captivated since 1951, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.